Page 3217 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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Planning—Age-Friendly City Plan

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.03): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the International Day of Older Persons is celebrated on 1 October each year, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 December 1990 (resolution 45/106);

(b) Ageism Awareness Day, which is centred around the International Day of Older Persons, took place on 7 October 2022;

(c) the number of Canberrans aged over 55 years is increasing as a proportion of the population, based on the 2021 Census results; and

(d) ageism is increasingly an issue for society as life expectancy continues to rise, particularly in the ACT, where we have the highest male and female life expectancy in Australia;

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) accelerate the replacement and repair of footpaths, including but not limited to, work on the age-friendly suburbs strategy;

(b) accelerate work on making Canberra a dementia-friendly city; and

(c) start collecting usage data via MyWay cards of senior citizens to better understand their travel needs and habits;

(3) write to the Australian Government in support of a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older Persons; and

(4) provide a copy of this correspondence and any response received to the Assembly by 1 March 2023.

I rise today to speak to this motion listed in my name on the notice paper, which calls on the ACT government to accelerate the footpath maintenance component of the Age-Friendly City Plan and the initiatives to support Canberra becoming a dementia-friendly city. It also calls on the ACT government to write to the federal government in support of a UN convention on the rights of older persons.

This motion follows the passing of two significant dates recently in relation to my shadow portfolio of seniors. On 1 October each year, the International Day of Older Persons is observed around the world. This year’s theme centred around the resilience of older persons in a changing world—a theme that is very pertinent, given the past few years, when we have faced, amongst other challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been particularly difficult for older people. Also, Ageism Awareness Day was on 7 October, a day that brings attention to the existence and impacts of ageism in Australia and how we can all play a part in combating it.

As a jurisdiction, the population of Canberra is ageing at a faster rate than the national average. In just the past five years, the proportion of Canberrans aged 70 and over has increased. There is clearly an increasing demand for more services accommodating the requirements of our ageing population. Despite this, the ACT Labor-Greens

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